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Virtual Marketplaces – Should You Be Using Them?

Virtual marketplace shopping

One of the biggest things that most online business owners consider is ways to boost sales.  Every marketing strategy, advertisement, and hashtag you include on social media is done with the hope of generating more sales.  One big sales strategy that every online business should consider is whether to use virtual marketplaces, an e-commerce store, or both of these online retail stores combined.

What exactly is a virtual marketplace?

A virtual marketplace is a huge online market where third-party sellers, and even individual businesses, can sell or resell products.  Direct businesses earn based on profit while resellers earn based on commission.  The virtual marketplace itself, however, earns through quite different methods like listing fees and product promotions. eBay is one of the biggest and most successful virtual marketplaces in the world and is even consider the ‘World’s Online Marketplace’ because this marketplace has localized sites in more than 24 countries. Online customers can buy just about anything imaginable on this popular site.

So, should you consider selling on virtual marketplaces?

There is absolutely no reason for you not to sell on virtual marketplaces.  You can choose to sell on a single marketplace or offer your products on several different virtual marketplaces.  One of the top advantages you get from using these sales platforms is greater efficiency since the marketplaces automatically process orders, payments, and delivery tracking.  Another huge benefit is the fact that you can target many more prospective buyers, especially if your website isn’t getting much traffic.

Watch out for these marketplace disadvantages.

There are a few disadvantages you should be aware of before you dive into advertising on virtual marketplaces, including the following:

  • It is going to be hard to establish brand recognition and to distinguish your business from the rest since the product is highlighted in search results and not the seller’s company name.
  • It is hard to prove your product quality because there can be counterfeit products that steal away the spotlight from your genuine and slightly more expensive but higher quality products.
  • Your marketing and sales cost can get expensive if you sell on several virtual marketplaces since they don’t earn based on sales commission but rather for product space and promotion.

Can you combine virtual marketplaces with an own e-commerce store?

A lot of resellers and businesses that sell on virtual marketplaces choose these markets as their primary distribution point to keep things simple, but many of these businesses also have their websites with e-commerce stores that sell directly to the public.  You can choose to sell on your website and e-commerce store and virtual marketplaces at the same time, or even consider resellers to be in charge of your marketplace sales and provide them with commission based on sales.

In our modern digital world, the possibilities for doing business online are endless, and the extent of your imagination is your only limit.